15 Mar

that’ll leave a mark

The games don’t really count and the stats don’t necessarily mean a lot for individual players. That said, Tuesday was a tough day for several Mississippi-connected pitchers in Arizona. Start with the Los Angeles Angels-Cleveland game in Goodyear, where Mississippi State alums Jonathan Holder and Konnor Pilkington took some serious lumps. Holder, an MLB veteran trying to win a job with the Angels as a non-roster invitee, yielded two hits, three walks, a hit batsman, a wild pitch and three runs in 2/3 of an inning in relief. The Gulfport native’s ERA rose to 11.81 over six Cactus League games. Not promising. Pilkington, who debuted with the Guardians last year and pitched relatively well, has not had a good spring. The left-hander from Pascagoula surrendered three hits, a walk and a wild pitch and was charged with four runs (one earned) and the loss in one inning of relief. He has a 7.36 this spring. In Peoria, ex-Ole Miss star Mike Mayers, trying to stick with Kansas City as an NRI, gave up four hits, a walk and two runs and took the loss against Seattle. Mayers’ ERA grew to 8.64 in four appearances. Ouch. At Mesa, former George County High standout Justin Steele made his second start of the spring for the Chicago Cubs and allowed five hits, a walk and three runs — all on homers — and took the L vs. Colorado. Steele, who had a good first outing, sports a 5.79 ERA, though his spot in the Cubs’ rotation is secure. And on top of all that stuff, former State star Ethan Small, whose prospect status has declined in Milwaukee’s system, was optioned to Triple-A. The left-hander has a 7.20 ERA in four games; he made two rocky appearances in the majors last year.

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